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Fiji Time: 6:40 AM on Tuesday 2 September

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Piracy deny musicians fair income

Tevita Vuibau
Saturday, July 21, 2012

THE earnings of recording artists have dropped from as much as $30,000 per album in the 1990s to as little as $5000 today.

And this has been attributed in large part to the onset of piracy in the music market.

Speaking to The Fiji Times yesterday, Procera Music managing director Mohammed Akif said the amount of money recording artists made now was "peanuts".

He made the comments ahead of today's Musicians Against Pirates Concert at Sukuna Park.

"Back then most of the top iTaukei recording artists could have made $25,000 to $30,000 per album, artists like Seru Serevi, Georgina Ledua and Daniel Rae Costello," he said.

"Now artists would be lucky to get between $2000 and $5000.

"We could pay them that kind of money then because of the market for audio cassettes and it was hard to make copies of them but it's much easier with CDs."

Mr Akif said recording artists who were Fijians of Indian descent also were able to make substantially more in the 1990s than what they could today.

"From their sales they would be able to gain popularity and book stage performances and make more for themselves and their families," he said.

Mr Akif said the price of CDs for Fijians of Indian descent artists had to be sold for between $8 and $10 compared to $15 to $20 they once retailed for while iTaukei artists had their CD prices slashed from between $25 and $30 to $10 and $15.

"Even with this slash in prices, people still choose to buy $2 CDs off the streets and this is not right because this is stealing from the recording artists and their families."

Mr Akif said it was time for the authorities to step up and start prosecuting those involved in the piracy of music.

Artists Savuto Vakadewavosa, Malumu Ni Toba kei Naivaukura and Georgina Ledua will be performing at today's Musicians Against Pirates Concert starting at 9am to 5pm.


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